Review: 70420 Graveyard Mystery

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Graveyards are regularly associated with ghosts and phantoms, hence 70420 Graveyard Mystery seems utterly appropriate for Hidden Side which focuses upon such ghoulish characters. I love its dreary appearance in official images and the set contains an imposing possessed tree!

Furthermore, this model seems quite distinctive when compared with the several previous sets that depict cemeteries. The minifigures are similarly impressive and this set includes 335 pieces so the price of £24.99 or $29.99 appears reasonable in my opinion, especially given the quantity of new elements that are found here.

Minifigures

Hidden Side follows two minifigures in their mission to vanquish ghosts from Newbury. Jack Davids wears a white hooded jacket with an unusual striped pattern across the right shoulder which continues on either side. The same design adorns his cap and this piece has been cleverly dual-moulded with the hood. Moreover, the legs are decorated with pockets and a metallic silver charm which is shaped like a bone.

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Parker L. Jackson appears equally detailed, featuring another dual-moulded element that combines her distinctive lavender hair with a spring yellowish green hat. These bright colours seem appropriate for such a fantastical theme and I like the torso design as well, particularly since the version without a bright light blue jacket is only otherwise available in two sets.

View image at flickr

Both minifigures include heads which vary across the range. The male head features determined and smiling expressions while Parker's design appears cheerful on one side and concerned on the other. I like these elements and each character also comes with a printed mobile phone, revealing two ghosts which have presumably become visible through the Hidden Side app!

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Jack's faithful dog, Spencer, has recently passed away and accordingly appears in the Hidden Side range as a ghost. White and trans-clear plastic has been combined to excellent effect and I love how smooth this piece feels, befitting an ethereal character. Nevertheless, certain familiar canine features remain visible, including Spencer's eyes, nose and folded ears.

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Civilian characters populate each Hidden Side set and this one contains Mr. Branson, the graveyard caretaker. The light bluish grey hair piece is relatively common but this head is exclusive, featuring an endearing smile on one side and a nervous expression on the other. LEGO creates comparatively few older figures so this component may prove useful elsewhere.

70420 Graveyard Mystery

Furthermore, the torso and legs are unique. These components appear remarkably detailed, featuring medium nougat overalls with tattered edges and muddy splatters which look great. The subtle stitched designs seem particularly intricate and I like the metallic gold zip printed across Mr. Branson's chest as well.

70420 Graveyard Mystery

Unfortunately, antagonistic ghosts have descended upon Newbury. Mr. Branson can be possessed by one such creature and an alternative trans-neon green head is provided, featuring a scary expression! The spring yellowish green hair piece looks superb too. The textured detail is outstanding and this part only appears elsewhere in 40336 Newbury Juice Bar and 70425 Newbury Haunted High School.

70420 Graveyard Mystery

The Completed Model

Graveyards have appeared in five LEGO sets and typically conform to similar design trends, featuring drab colours and gravestones of differing sizes. Certain areas of this model seem accordingly familiar, although its layout and overgrown design are somewhat unusual. The structure measures 32cm wide and stands on multiple dark tan plates which give the impression of muddy ground.

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Two black gates, resembling wrought iron, stand at the entrance to the graveyard. They are mounted using clips so open smoothly and I like the decorative pearl gold 1x1 round plates positioned here. In addition, stickers are applied to the surrounding pillars. These include some wonderful detail and the dark green moss complements other areas of foliage across the model.

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An elegant memorial is situated inside, featuring an angelic statue. The sticker underneath looks good and rotating the statue reveals three colourful 2x2 tiles that interact with the augmented-reality Hidden Side app, uncovering additional secrets that only become apparent through your mobile phone. I look forward to exploring the app when it is released next week.

View image at flickr

The neighbouring graves contain red 2x2 inverted tiles, offering further engagement with the app. The central structure is particularly appealing, making ingenious use of a 2x4x6 door frame which provides ample room for a skeleton and a spring yellowish green key. I was slightly disappointed to find that the final tomb is entirely occupied by the aforementioned tiles, leaving no space for accessories.

View image at flickr

However, each grave appears reasonably detailed from the exterior. I like the intricate stickers and the scattered plants look splendid. However, the largest tomb features a green 2x3 slope which seems out of place in my opinion. Fortunately, the shack where caretaking equipment is kept looks nice, matching the muted colours of this sombre environment.

View image at flickr

Several accessories and a leaking tap are found inside. An ancient tree towers above the shack which seems rather strange, although its exposed roots look excellent. This structure is connected to a black turntable and slots between a pair of 2x2 corner bricks with angled sides which are supposed to keep the tree in position, although it can still rotate slightly.

View image at flickr

The gnarled tree consists primarily of reddish brown pieces, although some dark tan and olive green highlights are also visible. Its textured bark looks absolutely fantastic and the Technic elements which form branches are great. A ghoul evidently resides within the tree as these branches can be activated by moving switches on the back. Moreover, the leaves can be adjusted to secure the branches in their raised position, as demonstrated below.

View image at flickr

While this function is definitely enjoyable, the exposed mechanism appears rather awkward when the model is viewed from behind. In fact, the whole graveyard seems comparatively bland from this angle so I would recommend displaying it as the packaging suggests. Nevertheless, this haunted tree is fun and it would be difficult to disguise these switches without significantly increasing the number of parts which are included.

View image at flickr

Overall

70420 Graveyard Mystery certainly matches the high standard established by earlier spooky themes, furthering my anticipation for the entire Hidden Side range! The minifigures are outstanding and I like the detailed graveyard environment too, particularly around the haunted tree which looks magnificent. Its possession function is equally appealing and the app integration provides further play value.

View image at flickr

However, graveyards have appeared previously so I can envisage this model being overshadowed by other Hidden Sides sets that offer superior innovation. 70419 Wrecked Shrimp Boat, for example, also costs £24.99 or $29.99 and looks superb in official images. I am very satisfied with this set though and would recommend adding it to your collection.

I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your opinion of the set in the comments.

34 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

Great review. The minifigures are outstanding for the entire Hidden Side range!

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By in United States,

The minifigs and the ghost dog are the stars of this set . . . the actual build seems weak. Although the play features with the AP might make up for that.

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By in Canada,

The dog would be Nice for a Luigi mansion 2 (Dark Moon) moc

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By in Venezuela,

It's always interesting when TLG delves into slightly darker territories than they're used to. Even when there's literally a dead dog in this range, the classic LEGO charm and warmth is still present in everything. This set only attests to their ability of covering delicate subjects while keeping their personality. The character design is wonderful too. Spring Yellowish Green is a signature colour here, and Parker's just awesome.
If the rumours of a TV series are true, I'll definitely be looking forward to that.

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By in United Kingdom,

@ Lyonel McBaseplate-11 During the LEGO animation panel at San Diego Comic-Con announced the new Hidden Side theme to be supported by an animated content

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By in United States,

Is Jack Davids suppose to be likable? He’s coming off as an a-hole punk thug with that grin, hoodie and hat combo

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By in United States,

Nice. I'm really looking forward to the shrimp boat and the seafood restaurant!

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By in Ireland,

Not one to buy into the crossovers between Lego sets and video games or tv shows, but this one interests me, mainly the value ranges of €25 approx, not sure if I’ll build it or stick it in the vault and see how it ages..

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By in United States,

I love the Parker minifig, but overall I'm just not a fan of this set. I'll hold out for the Shrimp Boat!

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By in United States,

I haven’t had the opportunity to get a graveyard before; this will look great for a Halloween display with my Haunted House.

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By in Sweden,

Lego is making it difficult for me to decide what to spend my lego allowance on! Too many interesting things!

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By in United States,

Good review! I can't help but get a bit of a Legend of Zelda vibe from the spooky graveyard full of hidden secrets and the elderly gravekeeper.

This set sort of ends up a little cramped for space due to packing in so many details but I appreciate the overall look of it. Sets like this one and the high school give me sort of an American "Southern Gothic" vibe, which is neat since living in a historic town in Virginia those sorts of motifs sort of close to home (even though other sets like the diner and shrimp boat seem to imply a deeper south setting, perhaps more like one of the gulf states like Louisiana). I was pleased to hear that J.B.'s accent, as well as ghosts like an old-timey bugle player in the recent teaser seem to confirm this sort of regional inspiration for the town of Newbury!

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By in United States,

I think the print on Jack's legs depict Spencer's dog tag collar (which are commonly bone-shaped) and not a keychain...

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By in United States,

This will fit nicely between my Scooby Doo sets, Monster Fighters, and Harry Potter graveyard sets.

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By in United States,

Really looking forward to the whole theme, and still kicking myself in the head for not getting the Haunted Mansion when it came out. This theme might work visually with parts of my MH and Scooby Doo displays

EDIT: ZACTLY what Rimefang said!! Oops!

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By in United Kingdom,

Oh man I really love these Hidden Side sets. They look like fun! I normally do only Star Wars but I'm thinking of picking up all of these too.

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By in Australia,

... but why did the dog die?

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By in United States,

Thanks for the review. This is the one set I definitely will be getting from this theme. Waiting to hear how to get the Juice Bar set too. I'm considering a few others but I really wanted a graveyard for Halloween display. Looking forward to the HP Voldemort set too.

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By in United States,

You can never have enough graveyards... and this will make a great edition to my Monster Fighters sets

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By in Germany,

The tugger looks great, review that set plz.

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By in Germany,

Pretty meh, even putting aside the app situation. Every set contains the same two minifigs (yeah, different clothing, wow). I can chuck them in a pile with my batmans, I guess. The tree looks great, though. I do not get why they have to stick to "technic pins that are never in the right color to fit their surroundings".

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By in Greece,

Graveyard and the shrimp ship are really interesting sets part-wise. Basically the whole range of this theme is great be it for the parts or the hidden side app. And tbh, LTG finally brings to the table something really fresh.

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By in United Kingdom,

I suspect the green slope on the tomb is probably for another interaction with the app.

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By in Netherlands,

I must admit I don't like either the Hidden Side premise or the notion of an accompanying TV show, but several of the builds in this theme are really cool and can be adapted easily even for use in a normal City layout. Sets like that shrimp boat or the school bus come to mind. This graveyard seems a bit dull in comparison imho.

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By in Netherlands,

Isn't the green slope just supposed to be more overgrown vegetation, connecting to the other vine piece on the grave?

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By in United States,

It's Monster Fighters, after being exposed to radiation from Fortnite. I think kids will enjoy this set, but it could also expand upon the haunted house from MF pretty well. The plates connecting the graves are nothing to write home about and I think 100% of AFOLs will mount it on a baseplate in short order. The angel statue is top notch, however, and would look great adorning the facade of a Modular Building.

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By in United Kingdom,

Is that green slope piece part of the apps recognition stuff? It might need that to lock onto so it can properly detect the tiles around it

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By in United States,

This theme actually looks really interesting

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By in Latvia,

Can you please review the boat and the lab? I think about buying a smaller set to try the theme, but I don't know which is better

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By in Denmark,

I like the theme. Most sets looks like something I could buy. But the app thing... i am still not ready after the total failure of lego movie 2 movie maker set. I truly believe people will laugh of these “integrations” of technology in 20 years. But the good thing is, the app will disapear but the sets will remain.

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By in United States,

This was the first Hidden Side set I knew about. While there are better sets in the wave IMHO (the Shrimp Shack and Bus among them), this one is certainly still a really good set, and an awesome “welcome back” to LEGO cemeteries after not getting one for a while. The play features also look really fun and interesting to met, even outside of the app.

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By in United States,

The App is now available in the US iOS store. Note however that the App needs a fairly new iPhone or iPad. It won’t install on my iPad Air 2, but does install on my iPad Pro

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By in United States,

The tree reminds me of the Haunted Forest in the Wizard of Oz. Time to build a couple more for my Lego Movie 2 minifigs.

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